Gut health

What causes bowel urgency?

There are a few reasons that you might need to go to the toilet urgently! An need to empty your bowels asap could be because …..

  1. You are stressed: Fight or flight impacts digestion and causes bowel emptying. Any stressful situation – acute or longer-term could have this effect. Over time this affects nutrient balance considerably as well as being hugely inconvenient.
  2. You have an irritated bowel: This is usually due to repeatedly eating foods you are intolerant to, but it is difficult to spot which food or foods this could be as the prolonged irritation in the gut now means that your gut reacts to a number of foods – fibrous foods, starchy foods, raw foods, etc…. Finding that key food and calming the gut through a nutritional programme is the best way forward.
  3. You may have unwanted bacteria or maybe even parasites: You can run a stool test to take a closer look at bacteria and parasites.
  4. Coeliac disease or Non Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity: Yes, big bad gluten could be an aggravating factor in your diet. A trial of at least 6 months without gluten and then a controlled re-introduction is the best way to figure out is it’s a problem for you.
  5. Inflammatory bowel disease: Sometimes the bowel is inflamed and needs attention. If you notice blood in your stools you should go and see your GP. Protocols like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet can be very helpful for managing inflammatory bowel disease. Get in touch you’d like help with this.
  6. Overflow from faecal impaction:  This urgency happens when stool becomes compacted around the edge of the colon, leaving a small space for ‘overflow’ to trickle through. This is common in elderly patients and the cause of constipation and compaction needs addressing.

If you need help with taming your bowel please get in touch.


    Sarah is a clinical nutritionist specialising in mental wellbeing and the gut-brain connection.

    Recommended Articles